I’d recommend Marina area hands down to first time visitors to Singapore – Why?…because it’s central to major attractions and connected to the city transport system.
The Grey Traveller stayed at the Pan Pacific in Raffles Boulevard, with views over The Marina and much of the city. It is easy to plan your Singapore itinerary over a cocktail in the Pacific Club bar whilst resting after a day of sight seeing and heat!
First stop has to be The Gardens by the Bay (take your Singapore Airlines boarding pass for a discount) some of the gardens are free such as the Children’s area, the Heritage gardens, and the Canyon, but it is worth the 26SD for entry into the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. The Cloud Forest winds its way up and round the dome in through…you’ve got it! clouds of mist! Visitors are educated on their way round about the importance of these ecosystems, the threats that they are experiencing and what we can do to help protect them.
In April the flower dome was dominated by Dutch tulips in every colour imaginable but there were also gardens from across the world such as desert landscapes, Mediterranean gardens and borders of every type of flower known to man and then some. The OCBY Skyway is a popular spot from which to see the light show which beams out across the Marina Lagoon. It is a walkway atop the trees making for good views of both the Marina and the gardens.
Some might say The Marina Sands hotel is the flagship landmark of the area. It’s certainly eye-catching with its trio of towers, infinity pool and observation deck. It’s big and it boasts its own raft of designer stores from Armani to Dior with fab views over the water. For others The Singapore Flyer is their top spot , but either way there are many choices to scale tall heights and get birds eye views over the Marina and the rest of the city albeit a deck, bar or a flyer pod.
You can circle the Marina on walkways both day and night by walking over the brightly lit Helix Bridge as well as taking in the eateries and bars and of course the famous Merlion statue spouting water.
All this and just a hop, skip and a jump from the iconic Raffles Hotel, a low rise sparkling white building not shy amongst tall shiny scrapers alongside. You have to have a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar or the Bar and Billiard Room whilst the Long is undergoing restoration. You are whisked back to the twenties and thirties when the sling was a mere babe in the cocktail world and a newbie on the menu but its the the one drink you must raise to the glamorous Marina area.
With the Promenade and Esplanade MRT stations on Raffles Boulevard, it makes moving round the city easy and above all cheap.
There are many choices of shopping malls such as The Marina Square which offers an alternative food choice often cheaper than waterside bars and fancy hotels.
So have I sold it to you? Yes the Marina District in Singers sold itself to me!